Miners basketball beats Ogden in showcase of team’s potential
January 21, 2018
The Park City High School boys basketball team broke a four-game losing streak on Wednesday when the team defeated Ogden 71-65. Coach Mike Doleac said the game showed how the Miners can play when they stay focused. For the young team — its starting lineup comprises four sophomores and a freshman — it was an example of how the team could look in the future.
"We came out and really attacked; executed well," Doleac said. "We were strong and aggressive — defensively we held position making it hard to drive, and we were recovering really well. Our execution of what we are trying to do was really, really, good tonight."
The team's strength was apparent at the beginning of the game and during the third quarter, when they stretched their lead over the Tigers to 15 points. Early in the second half, the Miners reached a lead of 59 to 44.
The team flagged in the fourth quarter, when they got bogged down in fouls, and a string of missed free throws let the Tigers back in the game.
"Defensively we let up, stopped moving our feet," Doleac said. "They got the clock stopped with fouls and we started getting hesitant; we started getting a little more passive, and they came back in the game. Luckily we had done enough that we had built a cushion."
Doleac said the team doesn't typically get in foul trouble, but with the level of intensity the Miners brought to the game, he said some fouls were expected. Doleac said he now he wants the team to focus on staying under control, so when their intensity is up, so is their lead.
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"We did that tonight offensively," he said. "We finished really fast and were under control. Defensively we have to do the same thing — play hard and still be under control."
Doleac said sophomore guard Nathan Lowe exemplified that control during the game, scoring 25 points while creating plays.
"He made a hard drive to the middle and instead of going up for a shot — he was covered he drew two guys — he kicked it in the corner to Adam (Spink) and Adam had a wide open three and made it," Doleac said. "That was probably the highlight of the game for me, just seeing Nate come in and make an aggressive play. And it wasn't for him, he made it for his teammate who knocked it down."
At the end of the third quarter, the score was 61-46. The Miners finished the game with a six-point lead over the Tigers.
Now 4-10 overall, the Miners will pursue a playoff berth as they play their second round of Region 11 games.
The Miners play Ben Lomond next Wednesday after a much-needed bye ("everyone is tired, a little beat up," Doleac said), then will start working through the region again starting with Stansbury, which beat the Miners 56-49 on Jan. 3.
To secure a playoff spot, the Miners will likely have to usurp Ogden and Bonneville, a target Doleac said is not out of reach.
"We have certainly got our work cut out for us, but if guys continue to be positive and try and continue to execute every single day, we have a really good chance to turn it around and have a good, strong, second half of the season," he said.
Regardless of how this season ends, Doleac said the team is outperforming their would-be peers. "If they played other sophomore teams or other junior varsity teams, it would be no contest," he said. "But they're not. They are playing varsity teams, which are more mature, stronger or older, so the margin of error they have is a lot smaller."
For now, the team will celebrate what victories it has and continue to pursue a top-four position, catching glimpses of their potential in games like the one against Ogden, when for a couple hours, everything comes together.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect the accurate spelling of Coach Mike Doleac’s name. The Park Record apologizes for this error.